Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Our Not So Fairy Tale Life...

I love my husband.
Yesterday was Ed's 44th birthday.  For the next three months we'll be the same age!  I love joking with him that since he's Chinese - and they are taught to respect and even revere their elders - he really needs to respect and revere ME!  Then we have a good ha ha ha.  But the reality is... he does respect me.  Revere might be pushing it... I'm working on that one.  (Ha!)

Last night we got all dressed up and went out on a date to celebrate his special day.  It was nice to be out - just the two of us.  Even if we did talk about the kids most of the time!
Ask anyone who knows Ed... is related to Ed... briefly met Ed... all of them will tell you the same thing.  He is just the nicest guy.  That's really what attracted me to him initially!  We met while I was a flight attendant on one of his flights - totally random meeting as I never took this particular trip.  He was the most polite passenger I had ever served.

Before I married Ed - actually long before I even knew him - I had my life mapped out.  I'm sure I'm like most girls who dream of the fairy tale life.  Suburban home with a picket fence - golden retriever in the back of a Volvo wagon - two car seats and a husband who is doting.  I don't know what Ed dreamed about - but I am SURE it wasn't an alcoholic like me who, at the time, had caviar dreams and a pocketbook filled with airplane mini-bottles!  I'm exaggerating, of course, but the truth is - neither of us could have ever, EVER, predicted what life would have in store for us.

I will tell you - once I stopped drinking and got sober, I wanted to keep it a secret.  Forever.  There were many that knew - and witnessed me at my worst.  (I still feel shame when I see certain people!) But I hoped it would one day be hard for them to remember me like that... and anyone new in our life just didn't need to know.  Especially our children.  I was very against telling our children.  I had a fear that it would be held against me.  That one day they would not respect me for my alcoholism... or that they would pull a "but you did it!" type of thing.  Ed disagreed... he thought it was important that we tell the kids one day.  And he never said this until recently - he felt burdened by keeping the big secret.

When I wrote my whole, sordid story for Momastery - my "Mama Story" - I read it to Ed first to get his approval.  When I looked up - he was crying.  He was so, so proud of me.  This man has never shamed me for my past - and has been 100% supportive of my sobriety.  When I met him, he was a wine lover.  He had been collecting wine for years and loved to drink it... like a normal person.  After I got sober, he sold the entire collection.  Hundreds of bottles.  We never, ever have alcohol in the house - and, even though I never asked him to do any of this, he never drinks anymore.  Not just around me... I mean ever.  I'm so grateful for that.  I will tell you - having all of my cards on the table is the most freeing feeling there is.  I don't have to hide anything anymore!  And with millions having read my "Mamastory" - it sure does help to keep me accountable and sober!

We have gone through some horrible, tragic things in our marriage.  It is so far from a "fairy tale" it's not even funny.  We're not the perfect couple by any stretch of the imagination. We argue.  We take each other for granted.  We're stubborn.  But we always know that those feelings are temporary.  Nothing will tear us apart.  Ever.

The night before his birthday, we celebrated with the kids.  Brian, Hope and I went to the mall and Brian helped me pick out a nice pen we had engraved with "We Love You!" - and Brian chose some nice socks for his Dad.  
We also got a Carvel ice cream cake, Ed's favorite!  Brian played a practical joke on his Dad by putting an electric candle on the cake.  He got such a kick out of doing that!  
And an even bigger laugh as he watched him try to blow it out!  Ed has a great sense of humor.
I'm so grateful to have married a man who LOVES being a father.  Ed lives for these children of ours and they adore him.  As soon as he would walk in the door, Gavin's eyes would light up.  They had an undeniable bond.
Brian adores his Daddy and loves nothing more than to spend time with him.
And Hope?  Oh boy.  Ed is wrapped around her tiny, little finger.  
I wouldn't consider our life a fairy tale... and I am sure Ed wouldn't either.  But we love our life - and our little family.  I got lucky way back in 2002.  And I know it.  I won the love lottery... and to me that's much better than living in a silly fairy tale.

Happy Birthday, Ed!  We ALL love you so much.



4 comments:

  1. Kate, thank you for sharing your story with us. I am sure there are many people who will benefit from reading this, you may just be opening doors for them that they had thought were locked. You have mastered many problems, turned them into opportunities. Well done! You are a shining example to many. We no life will never be a bed of roses, it's the trials and tribulations that help us grow, but you are growing day by day. Bless you and your family, and a Happy Birthday to Ed, who it seems is just as good as you!

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  2. Happy Birthday Ed, you are the kind of man every woman dreams of and every man should try and be like. xx

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  3. Thank you for posting. Someone needed to know that life still has joy and happiness even when they are facing an addiction. You gave someone hope and desire to keep walking through your honesty. Be encouraged everything you have walked through is not being wasted.

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  4. This post made me cry, not because Ed is one of the good ones, that's a no brainer, but for you to feel shame about how you USED to be an alcoholic. Kate, you got sober, and not just that you've STAYED sober. Even when Gavin died you STAYED sober. You should be so proud of yourself, heck I'm proud of you, and I just know you through caregiving and this blog. We have all done things we're not proud of. I have an eating disorder, I'm not active but it's still there. I'm very sick, incurable, I will never get better. I take over 69 tablets a day and am on 2 types of morphine. A big part of the reason is when I became pregnant with our oldest daughter, I got gestational diabetes, although we found that out just after I gave birth to her. My gestational diabetes turned into full blown diabetes. I was told to keep my blood sugars at a certain level and I did. I was militant about it. Too militant. Then things started to go wrong, all the bad things that can happen with diabetes, I got them all. Nearly 8 years ago I was told I had maybe 5 years if I was lucky. Things couldn't have looked more bleaker, the Dr's couldn't do anything else for me. Then in July 2013 I started a trial drug. I went from taking crazy amounts of insulin to none. My Dr's have told me I'm the only person in the world that has responded so well to this drug, I lost over 100lbs a lot of which was water retention, my diabetes is in remission and (Please God) I might just have a future. The point to all of this is if I hadn't have been a bulimic with anorexia tendencies then none of this would have happened. My girls are 15&11. I'm entirely honest with them both about my eating disorders and do you know what my eldest said? She said I was her inspiration! And that Kate is entirely what your kids will say. You used to drink but now you're sober. And that is what they will remember..you got sober and you STAYED sober. That's totally inspirational to me πŸ’–πŸ’™

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